Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Writers: Missing Out Is Okay

Hello, all my happy writers! Hope you are doing well this Friday. The sun is finally out here, and my kids are loving it. Sure, not getting much done, but sun! Yay! This also means that the HWS clubhouse pool is officially open. Feel free to lounge and talk plot devices, whatevs.

So, Honesty Moment: When I heard about this awesome Comic Con panel? Yeah, I might have pouted about missing out. How could I not? So many cool people! People I kind of know. So yeah, those feelings of "Why don't I ever get to do anything cool?" came rushing in.

We all feel that way sometimes, don't we? (Please tell me I'm not the only one, otherwise this post is going to be SUPER embarrassing.) Especially with the advent of social networking, it seems like that feeling of "missing out" is lurking at every Twitter refresh or Facebook login. Now, more than ever, we get to see and hear about all the cool things people are doing. And since the internet has hyperbole down to a science, it can feel like everyone in the entire world has a cooler, better life than you do.

Which of course isn't true.

The truth? Everyone in the world is missing out on something. I am, sadly, not in Paris right now. AND THERE ARE OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE IN PARIS. I could spend a lot of time feeling deprived about that if I wanted to, but I don't. So why do I get so worked up over not getting to see one awesome Comic Con panel?

Well, probably because I really like hanging out with my friends, and they have the gall to live all over the country. So when they congregate in one place WITHOUT me, in come those "I am missing out!" feelings. Add to that the fact that I've always wanted to go to Comic Con, and...yeah.

But here's the thing. Last Saturday I got to spend a whole day with one of my best friends, doing book things and eating good food and seeing an awesome movie. And on Tuesday I got to hang out with my mom in a bookstore, browsing the pretty shelves while I took a call from my agent. On Wednesday, I had the privilege of attending Elana Johnson's launch at The King's English, which was wonderful and inspiring and just plain fun.

And Ally Carter will be here to sign in TWO WEEKS.

And in July I'm going on a writing retreat with some of my closest friends.

And other secret stuff...etc. and so forth.

When I'm looking at my own life, things seems pretty dang cool, you know? Sure, I am missing out on stuff—that's the plain truth—but it's inevitable. And that's OKAY. It's part of life. Even those people who look like they're doing all the cool stuff? They're missing out on something, too. We can't do everything. We can't go to every event. We can only enjoy and make the most of the things with do get to experience. The more I focus on my own life, not what everyone else is doing, the happier I am as a writer.


  1. I totally know how you feel :) I think that's one benefit of blogs and an online you said, we can't do everything, but we can at least hear about almost all of it.

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  2. Whenever I feel jealous over cool stuff my friends are doing, I take a deep breath and remind myself that it's more rewarding to be happy for them than to feel jealous.

    Most of the time, it works. ;)

  3. "The more I focus on my own life, not what everyone else is doing, the happier I am..."

    So true, so true. Good reminder for me today, actually. I'm at my dealer feeling sorry for myself b/c the work I need done is going to cost a lot, and I have no income b/c I quit my job to pursue writing full-time, and how come I don't write faster, and how come I don't have an agent or a book deal, etc. etc. It's not pretty.

    But it's also not productive. Feeling sorry for oneself is almost never helpful in any way. So I'm gonna eat some lunch, write some good stuff, and remember that if I just keep going, I'll be fine. Thank you!

  4. I get these feelings all the time. My wife works full-time and I am mostly a house-dad with four kids. Most of my friends still live a singles life and hearing some of their stories brings back some crazy memories and sometimes makes me sad. But then I look at one of my smiling babies and that sadness and left out feeling goes away and I feel sad for my friends for not being as fortunate as me.

    I am very fortunate to have the life I wake up to everyday, but sometimes it takes seeing someone elses life to make me realize it.

    Thanks for the post!

  5. Well said. when I feel envy that my daughter lives in Switzerland, I remind myself that my other daughter lives here and has given me two grandchildren.
    In writing, I can look at those other people.

  6. This is so true, especially about the internet exacerbating the feeling of 'missing out'. (As a side note, am I the only one who starts singing Karma Chameleon every time I see the words 'Comic Con? Please tell me I'm not the only one.)

  7. As you pointed out, it's a matter of focusing on what we do have instead of what we don't. There are so many awards, book lists, festivals, conferences, signings, and nobody gets a piece of *every* pie. I try to be grateful for the slices of key lime and cherry on my plate, and not bemoan the fact that I don't have the chocolate cream or the coconut at the moment. ;-)

  8. I totally feel like I'm missing out by not being able to attend (and I only blog-stalk everyone... I don't know them at all in the way you do). Everything you've written is true and awesome, though. It's so important to live the life I've been given, and keep my eyes on my own paper. It's like that part in one of the Narnia books when Lucy asks Aslan something about someone else's life, and he's like, "That's someone else's story. You only get to know your own." (I definitely didn't look that up or anything, so that is Aslan's voice according to me. Still wise, though, right?

  9. I know! What really stinks it that I live near San Diego and Comic Con sold out in one day waaaay back in February or something. Tickets are on Craigslist now for hundreds of dollars. Lame.

    Worse? My kid is going to Paris in two weeks. Without me.

    Left out of everything!!

    Oh well....


  10. Love the blog and I don't like Paris, but I wish I could have been at the Book Expo or whatever in NY.

  11. Dude. I feel you. Especially since I'm usually in Australia missing out on all the cool events in the US. But hey--that's life. And I'm here now with lots of cool stuff planned.

  12. I have to focus on the doughnut I have, and not the hole in the middle. One can be unhappy in bliss if one focuses only on what one doesn't have.

    Thoughtful post.

  13. When I was counseling teens, way back when, a colleague said to a client, "Life is boring, interrupted by the occasional party.". Then, as I have spent time with ailing loved ones, I learned it is the boring parts of life they didn't want to leave or miss.

  14. Greetings From Southern California

    I am your newest follower. I invite you to visit my blog and become a follower, if you want too.

    Have a Nice Day :-)

  15. I can't get past the "call from my agent", and "other secret stuff..." Now I feel like I'm missing out!!

  16. Thank you!

    I miss out on so much because I'm in Japan. I want to go to conferences and meetups and conventions and launches, but I'm in Japan.

    It sux.


    I. AM. IN. JAPAN.